August 15, 2010 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Amritsar (August 15, 2010): Today marks the 63rd anniversary of the India’s independence. It is a “Black Day” for all the minorities of India. India has a poor record of human rights, from Kashmir to Punjab to Northeast. India has extremely serious human rights problems. Primary among them is the culture of impunity to security forces. By observing August 15 as black day, we are keeping the desire for freedom alive.
It is a matter of great pride that Sikhs have a legacy of sovereignty. They have had self-rule for many years and decades. It is a matter of regret that their sovereignty has been usurped by the Indian state, either by chicanery of Indian imperialists or by default of their own leadership. However, it is significant that our moral, legal and political lien over our sovereignty still stands.
While the Indians are busy in celebrating their independence, we are staging a sit-in protest against slavery and injustice. Since our subjugation in the early fifties of the last century, we have experienced slavery, torture and abrogation of our civil, economic, religious and political rights.
The stories of the sufferings of Sikh were too numerous to tell. The violations of human rights by Indian security agencies have been uncountable. But the energetic Sikhs with their distinctive unique birthright and history stand still without any retreat.
It has been clear to us for decades that the Sikhs cannot achieve any justice or progress within the confines of the present Indian political system that is so viciously opposed to our legitimate goals, desires and aspirations.
Outstanding issues dating back to 80’s remain unresolved to this day despite promises from the Indian government to help find a solution. Instead, Indian state has chosen to silence our voices by force or to humiliate and terrorize us into dropping our legitimate demands. The continuous loot of Punjab’s water wealth resources and state’s deliberate policy to alter the demography of Punjab by encouraging influx of migrants is a major cause of worry and concern.
India’s Constitution does allow freedom of expression to all citizens but ironically the moment we express our independent thoughts we lose our freedom. Several Dal Khalsa and like minded parties’ activists have been charged under sedition on the most fraudulent of grounds despite our resolve and approach to keep our movement within the framework of non-violent and democratic norms.
Today is a day of betrayal, but today is also the start of a new struggle, and new hope for the future. We are confident that we will prove everyone wrong especially those who had declared that the movement for Khalistan is dead. The struggle for independence is our lifeline.
The Dal Khalsa does not only ask the Indian state and the world community to acknowledge our identity as a Nation but also our right to self determination in accordance with international treaties and covenants that all democratic Nations are expected to adhere to and oblige.
Let it also be known, that Sikhs are not alone in this struggle against the Indian establishment. Right now, the Kashmiris, Nagas and Assamese are also observing India’s Independence Day as a Black Day. Let us make a pledge that the common cause of all oppressed peoples will be brought to one platform.
The people of Punjab stand with the people of Pakistan as they have bravely responded to widespread and unprecedented flooding that has killed more than 1,600 people and left two million people affected. We also express our sorrow and grief over the loss of human lives due to cloudburst in Leh region of J&K.
We think that we would be failing in our duty if we do not express solidarity with all other ethnic peoples who are in the thick of formation of their nation-states in South-Asia. We condemn the flagrant violations of the fundamental rights of the Kashmiri people in the valley. Dal Khalsa pledges sustained Sikh support for Kashmiri brethren in their struggle for right to self determination in line with deepening partnership between the two pro-struggling ethnic minorities.
It seems the reports of revival of militancy in Punjab attributed to Sikh militant groups are designed to damage the image of the community. Our heart goes in support of all those Sikh Nationalists including Bhai Daljit Singh Khalsa who are suffering detentions because of their dissenting beliefs.
We appeal to Hindu brethren of Punjab to ‘bridge the divide’ and join hands with Sikhs not only to safeguard the interests and resources of the state but also to achieve Punjab’s Sovereignty in the same manner as Sikhs helped Hindus in their fight for the independence of India from British colonial rule.
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